Live Action Vs. Animation: Which is Better for Social Media Ads?

Live action vs. animation

Live Action Vs. Animation: Which is Better for Social Media Ads?

Video is the most engaging type of content across the internet. No wonder it has taken over social networks. With 8 billion videos watched every day on Facebook alone, social media and content marketing experts are beginning to realize that video ads outperform images with regard to clicks and conversions.

If you’re keen on leveraging videos for your social media advertising, then you’ll be faced with a crucial decision sooner or later: Should you invest in live-action or animated videos? We get this question all the time and are here to help you make the right choice. Read on to learn the live-action vs. animation pros and cons.

What to Consider for Videos for Social Media

There’s really no clear-cut answer which type of video is better for social media platforms. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it? But, you can contemplate these 3 key factors when deciding between animation vs live-action:

Your Audience

Your audience will have certain preferences when it comes to videos and their tone and style. Think about which other video content your ideal clients consume regularly. Is it animated or live-action? You can also take a peek at what type of videos your competitors are putting out there and if they are successful with it.


Your Goal

What do you want to achieve with your video? No matter which type you choose, it has to be effective. If you want to build trust for your business, then showing how real customers have benefited from your product in live-action could be the right choice. On the other hand, if you plan to show how your service works in an easy to understand way, an animated video might work better.


Your Budget and Time Constraints

Live-action and animated videos are produced in entirely different ways, and this affects the way they are priced. Check out our blog post to find out how much a great video costs to better understand budgeting for your next video. Also, consider how quickly you’ll need your video. Do you have the time and resources to get a film crew and set together for a live-action shoot?

Live-Action Video Pros & Cons

up close view of a camera

Humanizes Your Brand and More Personal (PRO)

Even as newborns, we are already drawn to faces. To increase the chances that your video will stop your audience mid-scroll through their newsfeed, show some real people. A live-action film lets you communicate the same way you would in person – with emotions and body language.

Pro Tip: Why not leverage real employees, your executives, customers, or partners instead of paid actors? This shows the real faces of your business and builds an even deeper connection with your audience.

Shows How Your Product or Service Looks and Feels in Real Life (PRO)

Live videos are perfect for tangible products. Imagine the scene of fresh bread being pulled out of the oven or a shiny sports car racing across a track. Illustrations and animated characters simply wouldn’t conjure up the same emotions as live-action does. If you offer services that involve real human contact, for example, a hotel or restaurant, you can more easily show off the vibe of the location and the customer service with live-action.

Requires More Commitment of Time and Resources (CON)

Live-action production typically requires a film crew, cast, location, props, plus post-production to get to a professional-looking final product. The logistics and costs involved can put a considerable dent in your budget and timeline.

Difficult to Update (CON)

Once your footage has been recorded, it’s tricky to make any changes. You’d have to get the crew, location, and set up all back together to re-shoot a simple scene. That’s time-consuming and costly.

Here is a live-action video we created for a local restaurant for their social media channels

Animated Social Media Videos Pros & Consanimated video process

Perfect for Explaining Complicated Topics and Abstract Things

The products and services of many online and technology businesses nowadays simply don’t exist physically. Short action animation films are the perfect way to bring intangible things to life and explain even the most complex subjects. Animated explainer videos are great examples of how ideas can be shown in a fun and entertaining way.

Animation is Limitless

Unless you have a Marvel-movie-sized budget, live-action is pretty much bound by reality. With animation, though, you can let your imagination run wild. The result can be exactly whatever you want it to be.

Cost-Effective and Fast Production

After the scriptwriting and development of the storyboard, animated videos only require computer-generated animation and possibly voice-over to create a presentable product. While it might take longer to generate graphics from scratch for your first video, these assets can be reused for subsequent videos, lowering costs in the long run.

Easier to Update

Can you already foresee that some information in your video will require an update in a few months? Animation can incorporate these changes effortlessly and at a relatively low cost.

Misses the personal touch

The only real drawback of video animation is that it might lack the personal connection that only real humans can get across. However, there’s always the option to combine animation with live-action, if your budget allows it.

Check out how TrustPilot is introducing their feature Product Reviews with an animated explainer video:

GoDaddy uses an animated video to show what their service is all about:


How to Choose the Right Video Type for You

If you’re still on the fence between live-action vs. animation, why not give us a quick call at 888.760.4958? We specialize in social media video production and will be happy to help you make the right choice.


Let’s talk about your goals and develop a game plan to wow your audience with high-quality, custom-made videos. Live-action or animation, you can leave your complete social media video production to us.

Give us a call at 888.760.4958 or email us to learn how we can transform your business goals into results.

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